I feel like I can finally be honest, upfront and candid. So much of my life is spent in lies I might as well embrace it. I know I’ll never stop doing the things I’m doing and that I’ll never change. The feeling of guilt is a mystery to me; an anomaly.
Returning back to Freiburg meant I had to go back to the Felix I once was; quiet, inexperienced, withdrawn. My parents have no idea about the things I’ve been through during my life abroad, and I intend to keep it that way.
For grandpa Jürgen’s eightieth birthday, my family decided to drive to Stuttgart and spend the weekend there. Upon our arrival, I couldn’t help but notice how time in the countryside seems to stop. Unlike urban areas where change is constant and mobility is restless, rural places tend to stay the same. The land of backwood Stuttgart was flat and monotonous; exactly as I had left it. At the house, my room was intact; the clothes I had left during my last stay were ironed and neatly folded in my closet, my drawings safely kept in a folder on the desk and my copy of “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde” still on my nightstand with the bookmark inside.
For the most part, I remained isolated in my room. I enjoyed the quietness and my ability to temporarily escape from all the chaos I’ve brought upon myself in the last few months. After spending the afternoon with my family, I excused myself and decided to venture out to go see Kristofer. Grandma gave me his new address and I was on my way right after.
Kristofer lived in a ranch house that looked like a barn half-heartedly turned into a residential home. He wasn’t doing much better than the last time I saw him; his dad had retired, and he was now married to a woman with a kid on the way. He was polite and introduced me as an old friend, totally disregarding any of my reactions; it almost felt as if I wasn’t there. He avoided eye contact but remained sweet and considerate. I wouldn’t have spontaneously showed up had I known what kind of turn his life had taken. Ever since I came back, I was filled with bittersweet memories about major events I’ve been through during my life here, and hoped my stride across town would include a taste of a brief romantic liaison lost in time; I wanted to reminisce on that romantic encounter that held a huge significance in the shaping of my sexuality, but it was almost impossible for me to go back and embrace those moments due to the sudden change of the person I thought he’d grow up to be. Whatever happened between us was nothing more than history; it wasn’t something that mattered to me anymore. I suddenly didn’t even want to acknowledge it. My visit did nothing but unleash an unneeded and pointless nostalgic feeling. Past events are as elusive as a dream can be; they’re always distorted and yearned for. They create a deceitful feeling caused by corrupted memories maintained by our biased mind keeping us from focusing on the present and coping with reality; and reality proved that the Kristofer I once knew had been eradicated and taken over by someone I couldn’t nor wanted to recognize.
I’m not trying to deny the fact he holds a significant place in my heart, but I realized making a big deal out of our recent encounter was at this point completely wasteful. Sure, I would’ve liked to have seen him happy, maybe even get the chance to be alone with him and have sex for old times’ sake, but even if that were to happen, I wouldn’t have accomplished anything but create more heartache. Unlike Kristofer who still remained exactly where he was when I first met him, I was the one constantly making changes and moving forward in life. I have a lot of expectations when it comes to my future, and he doesn’t. What ends up happening to him doesn’t matter because he himself doesn’t care; he’s as lethargic as he seemed when we first met.
As I walked off his property, I saw a wolf standing still on the other side of the street. The moment felt surreal: I’ve always identified my power animal as being a wolf, and the fact I was finally seeing one in that specific moment felt extremely peculiar yet poignant. I’ve been feeling like a lone wolf ever since I came back here, and just when that feeling started to manifest inside me a real wolf appeared; I interpreted that as a reassuring sign I wasn’t alone even though I couldn’t see any clear signs that indicated my life will be back on track once my short stay here is over.